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Seattle Opera.

The (R)evolution of
Steve Jobs


The June 13, 2020 broadcast of this production on 98.1 KING FM was originally recorded on March 2, 2019. It features John Moore as Steve Jobs. Full cast list is available below.

Totally user-friendly.”

—LA Times
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Music by Mason Bates
Libretto by Mark Campbell

Following the world premiere’s “rapturous reception” (The Washington Post), the Grammy Award-winning smash hit makes its West Coast debut at McCaw Hall! Go behind the headlines for a “visually stunning” (ABQ Journal) examination of a flawed and hugely influential figure. When faced with his mortality, the visionary Apple co-founder revisits 18 of his most important memories in search of a perfect moment to take with him.

Mason Bates’ dazzling score features a glossy mix of lyrical and rhythmic music, combining traditional and electronic instrumentation. Mark Campbell’s compelling, funny, and touching libretto draws on universal themes of human communication and connection in its respectful yet unflinching depiction of Jobs’ innovative ideas and troublesome truths.

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© Philip Newton

Hear from the Creators

© Philip Newton

In English with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 1 hour and 42 minutes with no intermission.

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1965: The Jobs family garage, Los Altos

Paul Jobs presents his son Steve with a workbench as a birthday present and calls it “a fine place to start.”

2007: The stage of a convention center, San Francisco

An adult Steve Jobs delivers a public launch of his company’s new product—“one device”—that will revolutionize technology. He ends his pitch noticeably weak and short of breath.

2007, directly after: Corporate offices, Cupertino

Steve retreats to his office. His wife Laurene chides him for not taking better care of himself and losing himself in his work. She asks him to return home.

2007, later that afternoon: The hills around Cupertino

Steve goes on a long meditative walk. He encounters Kōbun Chino Otogawa, Steve’s former spiritual mentor in Sōtō Zen Buddhism, who died five years before. Steve remembers something he once said: “You can’t connect the dots going forward. You can only connect them going backward.” As they gaze at the sunset, Kōbun prompts Steve to acknowledge his mortality.

1973: A class in calligraphy, Reed College, Oregon

A teacher discusses the significance of the ensō, a circle drawn in Japanese calligraphy. Steve is inspired by the aesthetic ideas of elegance and simplicity.

1973: The garage of the Jobs family home, Los Altos

Steves best friend Steve Wozniak has created a blue box, a device that allows the user to make free telephone calls. Steve and “Woz” celebrate the ease with which they think corporate giants can be toppled. 

1974: An apple orchard near Los Altos

Steve and his girlfriend Chrisann take LSD. Steve imagines their surroundings coming to life as an orchestra, playing Bach. The two start to make love when Kōbun interrupts them.

2007: The hills around Cupertino
1975: Los Altos Zen Center

Kōbun informs Steve that he cannot live at the Zen Center and hints that his destiny may lie elsewhere.

1989: A lecture Hall, Stanford University

Steve meets Laurene for the first time.

1976: The garage of the Jobs family home, Los Altos

Woz presents a new computer interface to Steve. Chrisann arrives and tells Steve that she is pregnant. When Steve demands that Chrisann end the pregnancy, she leaves in tears. Steve and Woz dream about the future of their invention, Steve remembering the orchestra in the orchard playing Bach and imagining the computer as “something we play.”

1980: Corporate offices, Cupertino

Steve severs ties with Chrisann and angers Woz by denying a fellow employee his pension. Chrisann and Woz lament the loss of the Steve they once knew.

1989: Steve Jobs’ home, Palo Alto

Steve shows Laurene his sparsely furnished home. A shared love for Ansel Adams work and Ella Fitzgerald albums prompt Laurene to encourage Steve to find meaning in his work.

1981–1986: Corporate offices, Cupertino

Steve denies palimony to Chrisann for their child, Lisa, and offends Woz, who quits. Demoted by the board of directors, Steve bitterly leaves the company he founded.

SCENE 13–15
2007: The hills around Cupertino
1989: A lecture hall, Stanford University (REPLAY)
1989: Steve Jobs’ home, Palo Alto (REPLAY)

Kōbun reminds Steve that it was necessary for him to learn from his mistakes. He helps Steve relive the more positive aspects of his life, like Laurene.

2007: Steve Jobs’ home

Steve returns home after his walk to find Laurene waiting for him. She confronts him and persuades him to finally accept his illness and mortality. Laurene leaves and Steve is alone. Kōbun conjures the best day in Steve’s life: the day he married Laurene.

1991: Yosemite National Park
2011: Stanford University Chapel

Attendees of the wedding gather in a circle while Kōbun officiates a Buddhist ceremony. Steve steps away to express his love for Laurene. The wedding scene changes suddenly into another ceremony and Kōbun informs Steve that he is witnessing his own memorial celebration. Steve protests a few production elements in the service, and Kōbun tells him to be still, to simplify. Laurene and Woz contemplate Steve’s legacy and their time with him. Finally, Laurene is left alone and observes that while Steve will be both lionized and demonized, no one can deny his influence on the world.

1965: The garage of the Jobs family home, Los Altos

As Laurene looks on, Paul Jobs presents his son with a workbench on his birthday… “a fine place to start.”

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John Moore

Steve Jobs

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Milford (Okoboji), IA
Seattle Opera Debut: Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro ('16) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Figaro, The Barber of Seville (’17); Papageno, The Magic Flute (’17); Steve Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ('19)
Recently: Frank Lloyd Wright, Shining Brow (Arizona Opera); Achilla, Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Glyndebourne Festival Opera House); Figaro, The Barber of Seville (Portland Opera) 
Upcoming: Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (New Zealand Opera) 

Last Updated: October 2019

Count, The Marriage of Figaro (New Zealand Opera) 

John Moore

Steve Jobs

Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Emily Fons

Laurene Powell Jobs

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Maddalena, Rigoletto

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Seattle Opera Debut: Laurene Powell Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ('19)
Recently: Poppea, The Coronation of Poppea (Opera Theatre of St. Louis); Hansel, Hansel and Gretel (Michigan Opera Theatre); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Boston Lyric Opera)
Upcoming: Angelina, Cinderella (Atlanta Opera); Hansel, Hansel and Gretel (Canadian Opera Company); Rosina, The Barber of Seville (San Diego Opera)

Last updated: July 2019


Emily Fons

Laurene Powell Jobs

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Garrett Sorenson

Steve Wozniak

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Steve Wozniak, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:  Bacchus, Ariadne auf Naxos (Kentucky Opera); Steve Wozniak, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, world premiere (Santa Fe Opera); Laca, Jenůfa (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Faust, Faust (Kentucky Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Garrett Sorenson

Steve Wozniak

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Adam Lau

Kōbun Chino Otogawa

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Masetto, Don Giovanni

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Seattle Opera Debut: Papa, Makoto Kobayashi, An American Dream (’15)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Alidoro, Cinderella (’19); Kōbun Chino Otogawa, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (’19); Ferrando, Il Trovatore (’19); Sprecher, The Magic Flute (’17)
Recently: Raimondo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Basilio, The Barber of Seville (Portland Opera); Oroveso, Norma (Utah Opera); Soloist, Verdi Requiem (Carnegie Hall)
Upcoming: Angelotti, Tosca (The Dallas Opera); Tom, Un ballo in Maschera (Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo)

Last Updated: December 2020

Adam Lau

Kōbun Chino Otogawa

Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Madison Leonard

Chrisann Brennan

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Adina, The Elixir of Love

Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Seattle Opera Debut: Chrisann Brennan, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (’19)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Gilda, Rigoletto ('19); Frasquita, Carmen ('19)
Recently: Gilda, Rigoletto (Austin Opera); Ilia, Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera); Morgana, Alcina (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro (Dallas Opera); Mabel, The Pirates of Penzance (Utah Opera)

Last Updated: August 2020

Madison Leonard

Chrisann Brennan

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Morgan Smith

Paul Jobs

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Paul, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Seattle Opera Debut: Donald, Billy Budd (’01)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Jim Crowley, An American Dream (’15); Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (’16); Riccardo, I puritani (’08) 
Recently: Joseph De Rocher, Dead Man Walking (Kentucky Opera); Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Scarpia, Tosca (National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra)
Upcoming: Herman Broder, Enemies, A Love Story (Kentucky Opera); Tadeusz, The Passenger (Israeli Opera); Musiklehrer, Ariadne auf Naxos (Cincinnati Opera)

Last updated: July 2018

Morgan Smith

Paul Jobs

Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Sarah Mattox


At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Teacher, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: Bend, OR
Seattle Opera Debut: Fyodor, Boris Godunov ('00)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Kate Pinkerton, Madame Butterfly (’17); Second Lay Sister, Suor Angelica (’13); Second Maid Servant, Elektra (’08); Alisa, Lucia di Lammermoor (’00) 
Recently:  Mezzo soloist, Mozart Coronation Mass (Sno-King Chorale); Maria, Distant Worlds Final Fantasy Concert (Seattle Symphony); Mezzo soloist, Bern Hebolsheimer Memorial Concert Series
Upcoming: Mezzo soloist, The Armed Man (Seattle Choral Company); Composer, Heart Mountain Suite (Whatcom Chorale); Mezzo soloist, A Night at the Opera (Walla Walla Symphony)

Last updated: January 2019